Prisco’s Family Market

1108 Prairie Street, Aurora, IL 60506 | 630-264-9400

Hours: Monday - Friday, 7 am to 8:30 pm | Saturday, 7 am to 8 pm | Sunday, 8 am to 7 pm

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How to avoid overdoing it on Thanksgiving.- Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Let’s face it, Thanksgiving family gatherings are all about the spread. Everybody comes together to share a meal consisting of a half dozen or more things we all love to share as a family tradition. Given all the delicious food you'll have access to, here are a few tips to help keep you from fearing the scale come Friday...

Chew Slowly and Savor Bites

When you're faced with that big sit-down meal, stop before you get so full that you're uncomfortable. Sure, the food is delicious and evokes all sorts of wonderful nostalgia, but you don't need to overeat to enjoy the memories. Chew slowly, savor each bite, and really appreciate those special dishes. It's a much better way to enjoy them than the  the "stuff and suffer" approach.

Plan Your Plate Attack

Before mindlessly piling your plate with food, take a look at the table and make a plan. Load up on veggies first to take up the most space on the plate. Add the items you love, but get smaller portions of what you know isn't healthy.

Spread Out Your Eating

If you are going to a friend or family member’s house for dinner, eat something healthy before you go. It’s better to not be famished when you get there. You will make better choices.

Enjoy the day

Don’t lose track of the fact that Thanksgiving comes but once a year and being with friends and family and sharing a meal is a gift too many people in other parts of the world never experience. Enjoy yourself, but just be aware of what and how much you put in your mouth.

Picnicking with friends and family- Monday, May 22, 2017

Late spring and early summer are fantastic times of the year when it comes to cooking. Why? Because you aren't forced to do all your preparation in a single room. Warm weather means finally being able to spread out -- which is delightful after having been cooped for up so long. Gone are the months spent huddling near a stove or standing shoulder-to-shoulder with anyone and everyone else that needs to use the kitchen's counters or amenities. Now you can prepare your vegetables or side dishes in one area of the kitchen, your appetizers in another, and everything else -- such as your main entree -- outside near the grill or on the patio or picnic table.

But the truly great thing is, you're not limited to simply preparing your meal elsewhere. Warm weather means having the freedom to eat anywhere you choose as well!

Like cookouts, picnics are a great way to spend a sunny day, either with your sweetheart or with friends and family. It means getting plenty of sunlight and fresh air, exercise (if you're the sort who likes a good day trip), and, most importantly, getting out of and away from that darned house. Picnics are a great time to relax, load up a plate with good food, pop open a drink (or two!) and enjoy a scenic, natural view, all while socializing with the people you care about.

Here are some suggestions for a fun and satisfying picnic:

(info courtesy of wikihow.com)

Plan ahead. Picnicking is made much more festive when a little forethought is used. Nothing spoils the fun more than not having a corkscrew or a fork when you need one! Keep a "picnic" box, too. Load it with plates and napkins, plastic utensils, a spare bottle opener and corkscrew, plastic food containers, wraps, bags, and other non-perishables.

Think comfort as much as food. Picnics are fun -- unless you are sitting on soggy or rocky ground, on a blanket that's too small, in the rain, with soggy paper plates. If you are on the ground, make sure you pack pillows or chairs. If the weather is iffy, have umbrellas in the car. Make sure your blanket is big enough for your crew. If not, have enough for everybody to be able to spread out a bit. Lots of space is good, and it makes the ants work harder for their share.

Shop ahead of time. Have all your ingredients ready before the day of the event. But prepare the food as late as possible, so that everything is fresh and delicious. If you're preparing things like macaroni or potato salad, make sure you keep them refrigerated so they don't spoil.

Play! If you are picnicking with children, bring a softball or a board game. Frisbees are fun too, for kids and adults. Have activities that everybody can be involved in.

Keep it safe. Bring along a little first aid kit, just in case. Some sun screen, bug spray, antiseptic wash, bandaids and gauze—nothing too complex.

And a few additional tips:

  • Always wash all your picnic items and dispose of food on returning from a picnic. That way, your picnic pack will be fresh and ready for you at all times.

  • You can purchase cake covers that will keep food safe from insects. These fold up neatly and are a great addition to a picnic set.

  • Use non-disposable items over disposable ones when possible. If you are worried about breaking your favorite plates or losing special cutlery, buy cheap used ones from thrift stores...

  • Tea, coffee, juice and soft drinks all taste better in glass or metal containers. Avoid the throw-away kinds of cups and glasses if you can, but also be aware of park regulations regarding glass containers.

 

Tags :  picnic food safety fun
The foods of Love- Monday, February 6, 2017

If you have a special someone in your life, you're probably already planning for or looking forward to this Tuesday. February 14th is Valentine's Day, the one day of the year dedicated exclusively to spending time with your significant other or spouse, and doing your best to make their day special. This can mean simply spending more time with them and/or buying them flowers or other gifts, all of which are great options, but there's one activity almost all couples indulge in on Valentine's Day... Sharing a special meal together!

Now, people often say the best way to a person's heart (man or woman!) is through their stomach, and cultures all over the world agree. Everyone is going to have an opinion on the best foods for inspiring love in another person, ranging from various types of seafood to fruits, herbs, and vegetables. There's a traditional or folk remedy for everything, and aphrodisiacs are in a category all their own.

Looking to play Cupid this Valentine's Day? When you head to the restaurant for a meal out, or while preparing your own meal at home, try incorporating some of the following foods... And enjoy!

[info courtesy of smoothfm.com.au, care2.com & health.usnews.com]

Oysters & Caviar

These classic aphrodisiacs are packed with zinc, a mineral that supposedly increases libido. Why not start your meal with half a dozen oysters or some caviar, and a glass of chilled champagne (a classically romantic beverage)?

Truffles

Why truffles (the fungus, not the chocolate)? Probably due to their rarity and musky aroma. Truffles have long been considered a go-to food for arouse the palate and the body.

Bananas

Loaded with B vitamins, magnesium, potassium and the bromeliad enzyme, bananas may increase the male libido. There are lots of wonderful desserts, including Bananas Foster, that incorporate bananas.

Avocado

Boosting the immune system with B vitamins and potassium, avocados have long been associated with sexuality. Baked Avocados or avocado slices on a salad are a great way to incorporate this particular food into a romantic meal.

Almonds

Thanks to their high vitamin E content, almonds help support female hormones, and have been seen as a fertility symbol for hundreds of years. Almonds can be sprinkled on top of salads or used as an ingredient in many lucious desserts.

Garlic

Garlic is considered an aphrodisiac primarily because it helps increase blood flow. As an ingredient, it's also incredibly easy to include in your meal: Garlic can be used as a seasoning in most main dishes, as well as in sides (garlic mashed potatoes, anyone?).

Chocolate

The neurotransmitters serotonin and anandamide both contribute to feelings of happiness and euphoria, and both are found in chocolate. Chocolate also happens to be the go-to Valentine's Day treat, and you would be remiss not to include it at some point in your evening!

 

Have a wonderful Valentine's Day!

 

Celebrating the New Year Around the World- Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Depending on your country of origin, your religious beliefs, or the customs of your forefathers, we have many ways of welcoming in a new year and saying goodbye or perhaps good riddance to the old year. The truth is throughout the world depending on the calendar that you follow the New Year occurs on any of several different dates.

We thought it would be fun to review some of the various traditions associated with the start of a New Year as celebrated in different countries and cultures.

Food for Luck at the New Year

Here are several New Year food traditions:

  • In the southern US, eating black-eyed peas and pork bring about good fortune.

  • Eating any ring-shaped treat (such as a donut) symbolize “coming full circle” and leads to good fortune. In Dutch homes, fritters called olie bollen are served.

  • The Irish enjoy pastries called bannocks.

  • The tradition of eating 12 grapes at midnight comes from Spain.

  • On New Year's Eve, Mexicans pop a grape for each stroke of midnight, with each representing a page of the calendar ahead. If one is bitter, watch out for that month! Other popular fruits to eat include the pomegranate, with its many seeds standing in for prosperity, and figs, which are a symbol of fertility.

  • In India and Pakistan, rice promises prosperity.

  • Apples dipped in honey are a Rosh Hashanah tradition.

  • In Swiss homes, dollops of whipped cream, symbolizing the richness of the year to come, are dropped on the floors (and allowed to remain there!)

  • In the South, greens are eaten on New Year's Eve because they resemble money.

  • Beans, like greens, resemble money; more specifically, they symbolize coins. Whether you choose black beans, lentils, or black-eyes peas, healthy fiber-filled beans will help soak up that champagne.

  • Noodles are symbols of long life, and grains like rice, quinoa, and barley stand for abundance. Slurp the noodles whole for even more luck.

  • Pigs are a lucky symbol because they root forward, and are rotund. Traditionally, in the American South, pork, beans, and greens are combined in a dish called Hoppin' John for New Year's Eve.

  • Fish are believed to be lucky because their scales resemble coins, and they swim in schools which invoke the idea of abundance.

And then there are New Year’s Drinking Traditions

Although the pop of a champagne cork signals the arrival of the New Year around the world, some countries have their own traditions.

  • Wassail, the Gaelic term for “good health”, is served in some parts of England.

  • Spiced “hot pint” is the Scottish version of Wassail. Traditionally, the Scots drank to each others’ prosperity and also offered this warm drink to neighbors along with a small gift.

  • In Holland, toasts are made with hot, spiced wine.

Regardless of just how you and your family celebrate, we want to wish you Happy, Healthy, and Prosperous 2017!

The Best and Worst Foods to Eat Before Bed- Tuesday, August 9, 2016

This will probably come as no surprise to some folks, but for those who may not be aware, indiscriminate snacking right before going to bed can not only adversely affect your ability to sleep, but depending on what you choose to consume, can also have a negative impact on your metabolism and your ability to lose weight. The emphasis here is not simply on food in general, though – late night snacking can actually be good for you and your diet if you happen to be on one; it's what you take in that matters the most. Different foods will have different effects, and some are most definitely better choices than others.

Foods you can enjoy before bed

[info courtesy of health.com & fitnessmagazine.com]

Jasmine Rice - Jasmine rice ranks high on the glycemic index, meaning the body digests it slowly, releasing glucose gradually into the bloodstream. A 2007 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that consuming jasmine rice four hours before bedtime cut the amount of time it took to fall asleep in half when compared with eating a high-glycemic-index meal at the same time interval.

Bananas - Bananas help promote sleep because they contain the natural muscle-relaxants magnesium and potassium. They’re also carbs which will help make you sleepy as well.

Cherries - Cherries are one of the few natural foods to contain melatonin, the chemical that helps regulate other hormones and maintains the body's circadian rhythm, or internal clock. The circadian rhythm plays a critical role in when we fall asleep and when we wake up. Consuming foods that contain melatonin, like cherries, can help reduce the time it takes to fall asleep.

Sweet Potato - Sweet potatoes are a sleeper’s dream. Not only do they provide sleep-promoting complex carbohydrates, they also contain that muscle-relaxant potassium.

Whole Grain Cereals and Milk - Eating a combination of carbohydrates and protein enables our bodies to produce the "happy hormone" serotonin, which in turn produces melatonin, a neurotransmitter that has a calming effect. It's best to avoid sugar-laden cereals, though.

Foods to avoid

Cheeseburgers and other fatty foods - A late night run to a fast food joint might be appealing, but you are doing yourself a disservice if you want to fall asleep at a reasonable hour afterward. The stratospheric fat content of this particular fast food is guaranteed to be a sleep killer. Fat stimulates the production of acid in the stomach, which can cause heartburn. Fatty foods can also loosen the lower esophageal sphincter, the barrier between the stomach and the esophagus, making it even easier for acid to get in all the wrong places.

Wine and other alcoholic beverages - Alcohol of any kind is a big no-no if you have any hope of getting to sleep in a timely manner. Alcohol metabolizes quickly in your system, the effect of which can cause you to wake multiple times during the night. Drinking is also known to reduce REM sleep -- the deepest sleep stage in which most dreams occur, and one of the most rejuvenating periods -- which can lead to daytime drowsiness and fatigue.

Coffee or Soda - This one is probably obvious to most people, but yes, drinking soft drinks or coffee before bed is an immensely bad idea. Both of these beverages contain caffeine, which generally has the opposite effect of putting people to sleep.

 

Tags :  food avoid bed bedtime
The Foods of Love- Tuesday, February 9, 2016

If you have a special someone in your life, you're probably already planning for or looking forward to this weekend: Sunday is Valentine's Day, the one day of the year dedicated exclusively to spending time with your significant other or spouse, and doing your best to make their day special. This can mean simply spending more time with them and/or buying them flowers or other gifts, all of which are great options, but there's one activity almost all couples indulge in on Valentine's Day... Sharing a special meal together!

Now, people often say the best way to a person's heart (man or woman!) is through their stomach, and cultures all over the world agree. Everyone is going to have an opinion on the best foods for inspiring love in another person, ranging from various types of seafood to fruits, herbs and vegetables. There's a traditional or folk remedy for everything, and aphrodisiacs are in a category all their own!

Looking to play Cupid this Valentine's Day? When you head to the restaurant for a meal out, or while preparing your own meal at home, try incorporating some of the following foods... And enjoy!

[info courtesy of smoothfm.com.au, care2.com & health.usnews.com]

Oysters & Caviar - These classic aphrodisiacs are packed with zinc, a mineral that supposedly increases libido. Why not start your meal with half a dozen oysters or some caviar, and a glass of chilled champagne (a classically romantic beverage)?

Truffles -Why truffles (the fungus, not the chocolate)? Probably due to their rarity and musky aroma. Truffles have long been considered a go-to food for arouse the palate and the mind.

Almonds - Thanks to their high vitamin E content, almonds help support female hormones, and have been seen as a fertility symbol for hundreds of years. Almonds can be sprinkled on top of salads or used as an ingredient in many luscious desserts.

Garlic - Garlic is considered an aphrodisiac primarily because it helps increase blood flow. As an ingredient, it's also incredibly easy to include in your meal: Garlic can be used as a seasoning in most main dishes, as well as in sides…. garlic mashed potatoes, anyone?

Chocolate - The neurotransmitters serotonin and anandamide both contribute to feelings of happiness and euphoria, and both are found in chocolate. Chocolate also happens to be the go-to Valentine's Day treat, and you would be remiss not to include it at some point in your evening!

Have a wonderful Valentine's Day!

 

Dealing with Food Allergies - Tuesday, September 8, 2015

If you or someone in your family is suffering from a gluten intolerance or celiac disease, you understand how important it is to know what is in the foods you buy. While all types of non–processed raw meat are gluten-free, the same is not always the case when it comes to processed meats and deli products.

Part of the reason that this becomes complicated is that fresh meats are regulated by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and are therefore not required to follow Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allergen or gluten-free labeling laws. Plain meats are gluten-free, but lunch meats can contain other ingredients, so they don’t fall into that category. Despite not being required to follow allergen labeling laws, the USDA says about 90 percent of companies do so voluntarily, calling out wheat when it’s used.

But like all foods, you have to know what’s in your lunch meat — not always an easy a task at the deli counter. Not every brand of meat and cheese can say they’re gluten-free. Some may use fillers and seasonings that aren’t safe for people with gluten allergies. But at Prisco’s we have made certain that you have a wide variety if lunch meats, cheeses and condiments that you can rely on to be 100% free of gluten. All of our Boar’s Head deli meats use pure poultry, pork and beef, combined with spices. That’s it. 100% natural, gluten-free ingredients.

Like fresh meats in most cases, cheese will be gluten-free. However, as with most types of food you'll consume while following a gluten-free diet, there are a few exceptions to this rule. Cheese is made by combining milk, rennet (enzymes which curdle the milk) and bacteria, which ferments the milk to produce cheese. Plain cheese made with as few ingredients as possible will have undetectable levels of gluten in virtually every case. Store-bought cheeses also may contain salt and sometimes preservatives; many also include extra ingredients to add flavor, such as herbs or spices. When extra ingredients are used, the risk that some may contain or may have been contaminated by gluten increases.

Processed cheeses like American cheese are made by combining natural cheeses, such as Colby and cheddar, along with salt and added emulsifiers. These cheeses can also contain milk, milk fat, butter, cream, whey, milk protein concentrate, milk solids, and whey powder. Some processed cheeses also contain artificial colors to improve their appearance and preservatives to increase their shelf life. These added ingredients sometimes contain gluten.

The good news is that when purchasing your deli items at our store, if you are concerned about gluten for yourself or someone else that you will be feeding you have nothing to be concerned about; simply stick with Boar’s Head meats, cheeses and condiments, and add fresh lettuce, tomatoes or other vegetables as additives. Of course, you don’t want to overlook the biggest culprit when it comes to gluten -- the bread for the sandwich. To get around that, we also offer a number of gluten-free bread and rolls in our frozen food section. The Udi’s gluten-free brand is our most popular.

In closing, let me explain that we are always looking for ways to help our shoppers have access to the foods that they need or want, so if there is a particular item or product line that you would like us to carry for you, please, by all means let us know. You can email us via the "contact us" button on the website or speak with any staff member directly.

 

Thank you,

Andy Guzauskas – General Manager

 

Tags :  allergies food
Be Safe with Food - Basic Sanitation and How to Avoid Cross-Contamination- Tuesday, June 30, 2015

This is good information for anyone and especially good to teach your children as they begin learning their way around your kitchen. Even when a food preparer is trying to be safe and sanitary, a small lapse in judgment can make lots of people very sick.

Clean: Wash Hands and Surfaces Often

  • Bacteria can be spread throughout the kitchen and get onto hands, cutting boards, utensils, counter tops, and food.

  • Wash your hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds before and after handling food and after using the bathroom or changing diapers.

  • Wash your hands after playing with pets or visiting petting zoos.

  • Wash your cutting boards, dishes, utensils, and counter tops with hot soapy water after preparing each food item and before you go on to the next food.

  • Consider using paper towels to clean up kitchen surfaces. If you use cloth towels, wash them often in the hot cycle of your washing machine.

  • Rinse fresh fruits and vegetables under running tap water, including those with skins and rinds that are not eaten.

  • Rub firm-skinned fruits and vegetables under running tap water or scrub with a clean vegetable brush while rinsing with running tap water.

  • Keep books, backpacks or shopping bags off the kitchen table or counters where food is prepared or served.

Separate: Don't Cross-Contaminate

Cross-contamination is how bacteria can be spread. When handling raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs, keep these foods and their juices away from ready-to-eat foods.

  • Always start with a clean scene ― wash hands with warm water and soap.  Wash cutting boards, dishes, counter tops, and utensils with hot soapy water.
  • Keep raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs separate from other foods in your grocery shopping cart, grocery bags, and in your refrigerator.
  • Use one cutting board for fresh produce and a separate one for raw meat, poultry, and seafood.
  • Use a food thermometer, which measures the internal temperature of cooked meat, poultry, and egg dishes, to make sure that the food is cooked to a safe internal temperature.
  • Never place cooked food on a plate that previously held raw meat, poultry, seafood, or eggs.

If you have any additional suggestions to share with our readers that will help assure that they keep a safe and sanitary kitchen, please share them here.

Announcing our first wave of educational food and beverage classes for 2015!- Tuesday, January 20, 2015

A few weeks back I shared with you that we always appreciate customer feedback and I encouraged your comments and suggestions. My thanks to those of you who responded either via an email to our website or a phone call, or a personal visit when in the store.

In short, you gave us some great ideas and we are making plans now to deliver on a number of those requests. Generally speaking, we heard from several customers who have attended either a cooking class or a beer or wine class in the past who wanted more classes to be offered this year. While our plans are not yet finalized, here is a sample of the classes we are working on for winter and spring:

  • Valentines chocolate and beer event –you can put this one on your calendar as we have settled on the date and sponsors. Thursday 2/12 at 6:00 pm, plan on joining us for an evening of divine treats and refreshing craft beers from one of our favorite local breweries. From Kohler, WI, we will be host to Martha Ernst of the Kohler Chocolates. Looking for a reason to come? Check out their web site and start drooling. http://www.kohlerchocolates.com.

    Continuing on the theme of fine chocolates we are pleased to announce that we recently were introduced to Kevin Roblee, a local chocolatier. Kevin will tempt and amaze you with his delicious concoctions, and he will be using his knowledge of chocolate and wine for some unique paring ideas.

    No one will go home thirsty that evening if Eric Hobbs and Tom Korder of Penrose Brewing Company of Geneva, IL, have anything to say about it. They will be sending us a good selection of seasonal Belgian-style Ales to sample and sell.

    Other events in the works:

  • Fruits & Vegetables worth a second look – a class designed to introduce you to a set of fruits and vegetables that you may know little about -- and most likely don’t know how to prepare.

  • Mead – man’s oldest form of alcoholic beverage.

  • Crock pot cooking

  • Red Blends – the hottest trend in wine enjoyment

That’s just a sampling of what’s coming. Be certain to watch your email and our Facebook & Twitter pages in the upcoming weeks as we finalize details on these and other informational food and beverage classes. We look forward to seeing you in attendance.

 

- Andy

Let’s have a Food fight – One that fights the flu that is.- Tuesday, January 13, 2015

In his book  "101 Foods That Could Save Your Life", author Dave Grotto reveals ten foods that provide top doses of the vitamins and nutrients you need to protect and defend against illness. You see, building up our body’s immune system is one of the best ways to ward off the nasty flu bugs.  As you plan your families’ meals in this unhealthy flu season, why not make a point of adding in plenty of the following flu-busters for good measure?  There is, of course, no guarantee that this will stave off any chance of getting sick, but it certainly won’t hurt -- and, by gosh, these foods taste great as well!

Mushrooms
Mushrooms used to get overlooked as a health food, but they possess two big weapons you need this flu season: selenium, which helps white blood cells produce cytokines that clear sickness, and beta glucan, an antimicrobial type of fiber, which helps activate "superhero" cells that find and destroy infections.

Fresh garlic
Strong smelling foods like garlic can stink out sickness thanks to the phytochemical allicin, an antimicrobial compound. A British study found that people taking allicin supplements suffered 46 percent fewer colds and recovered faster from the ones they did get. So start cooking with it daily -- experts recommend two fresh cloves a day.

Wild-caught salmon
In a recent study, participants with the lowest levels of vitamin D were about 40 percent more likely to report a recent respiratory infection than those with higher levels of vitamin D. Increase your intake with salmon; a 3.5-ounce serving provides 360 IU. Some experts recommend as much as 800 to 1000 IU of vitamin D each day.

Tea
Researchers at Harvard University found that drinking five cups of black tea a day quadrupled the body's immune defense system after two weeks, probably because of theanine. Tea also contains catechins, including ECGC, which act like a cleanup crew against free radicals. Grotto suggests drinking one to three cups of black, green, or white tea every day.

Yogurt
The digestive tract is one of your biggest immune organs, so keep disease-causing germs out with probiotics and prebiotics, found in naturally fermented foods like yogurt. One serving a day labeled with "live and active cultures" will enhance immune function according to a study from the University of Vienna in Austria.

Dark chocolate
Nutrition experts agree that dark chocolate deserves a place in healthy diets, and a study published in the British Journal of Nutrition says it can boost your immunity, too. High doses of cocoa support T-helper cells, which increase the immune system's ability to defend against infection. Sweet!

Oysters
Zinc is critical for the immune system -- it rallies the troops, or white blood cells, to attack bacteria and viruses like a flu or cold. One medium oyster provides nearly all of the zinc you need for a day.

Almonds
Heart-healthy almonds boast the immune-boosting antioxidant vitamin E, which, according to researchers at Tufts University, can reduce your chance of catching colds and developing respiratory infections. You'll need more than a serving of almonds for your daily dose, though, so try fortified cereals, sunflower seeds, turnip greens and wheat germ, too.

Strawberries
Even though vitamin C-rich foods (hello oranges!) are probably the first thing you think of when you feel a cold coming, Grotto says the illness-preventing power of the antioxidant is debatable. That said, some studies show it can reduce the intensity and duration of the cold and flu, so it's worth a try. One cup of strawberries provides 160 percent of your daily needs.

Sweet potato
Beta-carotene improves your body's defenses. It's instrumental in the growth and development of immune system cells and helps neutralize harmful toxins. Sweet potatoes and other orange foods like carrots, squash, pumpkin, egg yolks, and cantaloupe are top sources.